I'm an OCM victim

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Exactly a year ago, I had almost perfect skin with 2-3 hormonal pimples on my chin and jaw line before my period, and I only wore concealer to cover a few discolorations. (I'm 18, by the way) However, I thought I had bad skin...because I'm so pale, (Dita von Teese pale) those discolorations and occasional pimples stood out quite a lot and I was having problems finding a foundation that's pale enough for me.

So I googled and googled and googled...I have been using aspirin mask for a few years, it worked great and I hoped to find something similar. Then I found out about OCM. It took me a few days to be convinced, because I always do some research before putting stuff on my skin. About a week after that, I was OCM'ing with a mix of olive and castor oils, and a few drops of lavender EO. It looked great...blackheads were gone, discolorations were fading, and I loved massaging my skin.

Fast forward to 3 weeks later...I was getting horrible breakouts on my cheeks (where I never got them), my skin felt constantly oily and I suddenly had huge pores, and I mean really huge for a 17-year-old. So I stopped and went back to my regular Dove bar.

Today, exactly 365 days later...I'm still having a lot of breakouts on my cheeks, chin and jaw line. It's so bad that never a day passes without me noticing a new pimple. I've done several visits to a quite a number of dermatologists, tried expensive cleansers, moisturizers, toners, topicals and none of them worked. I refuse to use anything oral because I don't like pills. I have to wear foundation and powder everyday to cover up those marks and pimples. It looks bad either way, because the colors are too dark for my skintone, but I'm afraid to go out in public with a such face.

So, this is a summary of how OCM ruined my skin...I would appreciate any help for it.

Thank you all in advance

PS
My skin clearly doesn't agree with "gentle" cleansers because they always cause my skin to breakout more. I'm currently using neutrogena bar for acne prone skin and vinegar toner.
Priestess Brigit of the Moonlight Oracle in the Order of the Curly Crusaders

Type: Mix of 1c/2c/3a , fine-ish medium, ii/iii, normal porosity
Lenght: U-Shaped BSL
Goal: Wavy and clumpy waist length hair

Last edited by Domino; 05-18-2009 at 09:16 AM. Reason: typos
Whenever someone posts on this board about how great OCM is, I always like to post a warning that acne-prone people should only proceed with great caution. OCM was THE ***** for my skin. Within a few weeks of starting it, I had the most congested, pimply skin of my life (and as a lifelong acne sufferer, that's really saying something). It took me months and months and months to clear up my skin after stopping OCM.

I would suggest you stop using bar soap. Bar soap has a high pH, which compromises the skin barrier and allows acne-causing bacteria to get in. Detergents (most drug-store cleansers contain detergents) also break down the skin barrier. Try this cleanser...it's non-detergent (castille soap based), but has had it's pH brought down with citric acid:

http://www.psfskincare.com/xcart/pro...cat=249&page=1

It's $21, but it will last you a year because it's so concentrated.

The same company also has very high quality salicylic acids (BHA), which will help clear up existing pimples. Try a 2% BHA for mild acne or sensitive skin, 5% for moderate acne or more resilient skin:

http://www.psfskincare.com/xcart/pro...cat=249&page=1
RCW, unfortunately I have already tried PSF products...they didn't work AT ALL for me. They're actually the reason I mentioned my skin doesn't like gentle cleansers...it's a pain...
Priestess Brigit of the Moonlight Oracle in the Order of the Curly Crusaders

Type: Mix of 1c/2c/3a , fine-ish medium, ii/iii, normal porosity
Lenght: U-Shaped BSL
Goal: Wavy and clumpy waist length hair
domino have you tried basis cleanser? i buy it at ulta. it's plain and simple and works. i use it when i do my lactic acid peel. i use psf castille with success but you said it doesn't work for you. derm e brand has a cleanser called very clear. i buy it at whole foods. it's good and natural based. you might try that. check out this site and some of their products:
www.makeupartistschoice.com

if you get a peel start with the mildest first!!!
a dreamy pisces
please recycle, it matters...
i change lives...through fitness
i'm more relaxed being natural
Well, at this point I'm too scared to try anything
Priestess Brigit of the Moonlight Oracle in the Order of the Curly Crusaders

Type: Mix of 1c/2c/3a , fine-ish medium, ii/iii, normal porosity
Lenght: U-Shaped BSL
Goal: Wavy and clumpy waist length hair
Well, at this point I'm too scared to try anything
Originally Posted by Domino
i'm sorry you're having a bad skin time. i know all about that. i was under the impression that you wanted suggestions/help to try to get better.
a dreamy pisces
please recycle, it matters...
i change lives...through fitness
i'm more relaxed being natural
I'm sorry you're having breakouts. I've been there and I know how sucky it is.

But — unless maybe you were joking? — OCM didn't 'ruin' your skin.

The effects of any skin care regime aren't permanent. At most, it might have made you breakout for some months afterwards.

Now there might have been scarring, and I could see how that might have been why you used the word 'ruin.' I hope that didn't happen and I'm sorry if it did. I have some acne scars and while they don't really bother me anymore, they really used to.

Anyway, my point is OCM isn't why you're breaking out today, a year later. It sounds like your skin changed and that's what you're seeing now. What you're seeing now is also a result of what you're using now.

It can take a month or two for a product to start showing results, for better or worse. And about the same time afterward for those effects to clear from your skin.

You may not be seeking advice on a new regime, but you really need to drop the bar soaps. Been there, done that: they're not at all appropriate for someone with acne-prone skin.

I didn't like the PSF cleanser either. It made my skin very dry, which is so strange because I have some of the least dry skin ever.

I use a crazy cleanser that for some reason works for me: Avalon Organics Vit C Refreshing Cleansing Gel. But the reason I think it "works" is because it's not about the cleanser so much as the other things you use. It's important to find a cleanser that, well, cleanses and doesn't leave you taut and dry or overly oily. But for the actual treatment of zits, you need more.

Have you tried benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid product combination daily? This approach does work for a lot of people. If you haven't tried it yet, you should really give it a shot.

Last edited by wild~hair; 05-18-2009 at 02:38 PM.
I usually lurk around the forums, but I can completely understand where you're coming from. I've had acne on/off since I was a teenager, and tried various methods. I can say that RCW's advice on skincare worked for me but then again each skin type is different and reacts differently to products. I know you said you refuse to take pills (and I completely sympathize - I really don't like taking pills), but it sounds like a prescription drug such as Accutane might help clear up the acne concerns you are having. If you've exhausted all other options of topical creams, cleansers, bar soaps, OCM etc, it may be that a prescription drug will begin the process of clearing up your acne. There are several threads with people much more knowledgeable than I (such as RCW and others) that have given their perspective on Accutane or other oral antibiotics for acne. And obviously speak to your dermatologist and ask questions on your options.

Again I know you said in your initial post that you refuse to take oral antibiotics, but again this is all just my opinion and I'm not a licensed medical professional.

As a slight guano on your difficulties finding foundation for pale skin, if you're UK based there's a new makeup line called Illamasqua, that has several shades for very pale skin. Here's the website: http://www.illamasqua.com/ You can see the brand in person at various department stores within the UK or if you're outside the UK I believe you can order from the website. And a lot of people here on these boards swear by Meow Cosmetics, a mineral makeup line, http://www.meowcosmetics.com/ that has a wide (I find overwhelming, but many people on their boards will definitely be happy to help you color match) choice of mineral foundation colors.

HTH! Good luck!

P.S. I realize I liberally used parentheses throughout my monologue...my bad
Trying to figure it all out again.

3a/3b. Med/coarse texture. Low porosity.

Protein sensitive and extremely dry.

Last edited by babyschloe; 05-19-2009 at 09:21 AM. Reason: Spelling and grammar errors :(
RCW, unfortunately I have already tried PSF products...they didn't work AT ALL for me. They're actually the reason I mentioned my skin doesn't like gentle cleansers...it's a pain...
Originally Posted by Domino

It can take several months to heal the skin barrier once detergents and high pH soaps are discontinued.
Anyone considering OCM, whether acne prone or not, should NOT use olive oil with the castor oil as it is quite comedogenic. I use about 25% sunflower/75% castor oil because sunflower oil is not at all comedogenic.

I also recently found that for me, anyway, the castor oil needs to be hydrogenated. The first I bought was (Walgreen's brand), and I never had any problem with it. I recently bought a new bottle that wasn't (CVS brand), and I could hardly remove it from my skin even after steaming as I always do then using alcohol-free toner, etc. I finally had to resort to washinsg it with Purpose cleanser and again using the toner.

Despite all this, I still stand by the OCM, although admittedly, it may not be for everyone. My still quite oily 52-year-old skin likes it - my roseacea, acne and dermatitis are all better when I'm doing it consistently.

The Purpose cleanser I mentioned works well for many people. It's what my dermatoligist recommended for my roseacea and regular adult acne, but OCM works better. Of course, he also recommended Cetaphil, which my skin despises, LOL.

I actually like Equate moist facial towelettes from Wal-Mart about as well as anything if I'm not using OCM. A lot of people evidently like them as they disappear from the shelves almost as soon as they put them out.
2C/3A/3B - modified CG - med./fine, normal/low porosity/normal elasticity

Current Main Rotation: MG217 medicated or Aim2Health 'poos for scalp, YTCarrots or Elucence cond., Spiral Solutions Protein & Deeply Decadent Cond., CJCCCC reg or lite, KCCC, Giovanni LA Hold Hair Spritz + lots more, sporadically

HG Method: Super Soaker + Smasters-ing, brief upside down diffusing w/360o diffuser then clips/clamps & air dry. Newly gray - stopped my henna glosses!

www.fotki.com/auntnett
My skin has always been extremely finicky. The slightest bit of mineral oil in anything is enough to cause my face to turn into a mine field of cystic acne. Even in my 40s, my skin is still oily and has a sheen by late morning.

I only say that because I think you need to look at every single thing you're putting on your face right now--cleanser, toner, moisturizer, foundation, powder, etc to find the culprit for your acne. I think www.zerozits.com is the website that lists cosmetic ingredients, what they do, and how comedogenic they are. Compare all the ingredients in your products to that list. I think you'll be surprised at exactly what you've been putting on your face.

The things that people use to hide imperfections can be the very things that cause the imperfections in the first place. For example, pressed powder is notorious for having hidden oil. Another thing to watch for is silicone. Many people have problems with it clogging their pores.

While OCM probably wasn't the right thing for your skin, I agree with WC that OCM wouldn't still be causing your issues. However, it may have started the issues, then the things you did to combat them just made the problem worse.

Good luck. I understand how hard it is to have such oily skin. You'll be glad for it when you're older, but until then it sucks.
Here's the actual list - the site's been rearranged so that they might have trouble finding it with just the basic link: www.zerozits.com/Articles/acnedetect.htm#inglist

This list is what I was basing my statement about olive oil on. As you can see, olive oil is a 2 as far as comedogenicity while sunflower oil is a 0. And had I checked back with the list, I'd have seen that castor oil is a 1 while PEG and hydrogenated castor oil are a 0.

ETA: I just realized I looked at the list wrong - must've been looking at Hydantoin when I said hydrogenated castor was a 0. It's a 1 just like plain castor oil. Hydrogenation must have something to do with how easy it is to remove, though, or at least it did for me. PEG is a 0, but I haven't found any that said it was PEG modified yet.
2C/3A/3B - modified CG - med./fine, normal/low porosity/normal elasticity

Current Main Rotation: MG217 medicated or Aim2Health 'poos for scalp, YTCarrots or Elucence cond., Spiral Solutions Protein & Deeply Decadent Cond., CJCCCC reg or lite, KCCC, Giovanni LA Hold Hair Spritz + lots more, sporadically

HG Method: Super Soaker + Smasters-ing, brief upside down diffusing w/360o diffuser then clips/clamps & air dry. Newly gray - stopped my henna glosses!

www.fotki.com/auntnett

Last edited by auntnett; 05-19-2009 at 02:23 PM.
Thanks, Auntnett.

Domino, one other thing to keep in mind is that you look at the list then make decisions on what works for you. In my case, olive oil is fine; but safflower oil and mineral (both of which got zero) break me out.
After having babies my skin was just a mess, and I couldn't control it. I used Murad Acne systems, Proactiv, the generic one that I can't remember the name of, the Clearasil Acne system (that one was the worst). I used LUSH skin products, etc, etc.

My skin wasn't the worst, but it was the worst it has ever been for me. I just couldn't get it under control. Even breakouts here and there I can't handle. The trips back and forth the Florida and their horrible water just made it worse.

One day my mom was like 'why don't you just try plain old Noxzema. I hadn't used that since high school, so fine, I bought a tub, and I haven't had a pimple since. I mean really. The girl at Lush commented on how great my skin looked.

I have to have a large tub of Noxzema in my shower at all times.
I only say that because I think you need to look at every single thing you're putting on your face right now--cleanser, toner, moisturizer, foundation, powder, etc to find the culprit for your acne.
Originally Posted by mrspoppers

Good advice. All liquid foundations break me out. Mineral foundation has been a great thing for me. Toners with any sort of isopropyl alcohol also break me out (SD alcohol is fine though).

Noxzema...yuck, what a mess that makes my face. All that camphor, menthol, and eucalyptis really irritate me, plus it's got oils and propylene glycol, which leaves me filmy. Ick...just a mess.
I only say that because I think you need to look at every single thing you're putting on your face right now--cleanser, toner, moisturizer, foundation, powder, etc to find the culprit for your acne.
Originally Posted by mrspoppers

Good advice. All liquid foundations break me out. Mineral foundation has been a great thing for me. Toners with any sort of isopropyl alcohol also break me out (SD alcohol is fine though).

Noxzema...yuck, what a mess that makes my face. All that camphor, menthol, and eucalyptis really irritate me, plus it's got oils and propylene glycol, which leaves me filmy. Ick...just a mess.
Originally Posted by RedCatWaves


Funny how different peoples skin can be. I'm so Noxzema obsessed, I'll use it all over my body. I love the way it feels.
Thanks, Auntnett.

Domino, one other thing to keep in mind is that you look at the list then make decisions on what works for you. In my case, olive oil is fine; but safflower oil and mineral (both of which got zero) break me out.
Originally Posted by mrspoppers
Was the safflower oil you got the high oleic kind? The high linoleic kind is supposed to be non-comedogenic, while the other is not so kind to skin.

And mineral oil is not my friend either - unless everything I used that contained it had some other ingredient that broke me out.
OMG, LOOK!!

...It's a siggie.
i just bought this book. i'm very curious to see the information it contains for helping me with acne.
a dreamy pisces
please recycle, it matters...
i change lives...through fitness
i'm more relaxed being natural
Noxzema *shudder*

There's always someone who says it's the best thing ever and I don't doubt it is for them but for most it is evil!
I used Noxzema in high school in the early 70's and liked it, however, I had less trouble with acne back then than I have for the past 10 years!

My skin doesn't like mineral oil either, even though it's supposed to be OK. I just don't like the way it feels, as much as anything.

Haven't tried safflower oil, but I know from cooking with it some in the past that it seems a little thicker than the sunflower oil does.
2C/3A/3B - modified CG - med./fine, normal/low porosity/normal elasticity

Current Main Rotation: MG217 medicated or Aim2Health 'poos for scalp, YTCarrots or Elucence cond., Spiral Solutions Protein & Deeply Decadent Cond., CJCCCC reg or lite, KCCC, Giovanni LA Hold Hair Spritz + lots more, sporadically

HG Method: Super Soaker + Smasters-ing, brief upside down diffusing w/360o diffuser then clips/clamps & air dry. Newly gray - stopped my henna glosses!

www.fotki.com/auntnett

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